PROTECTING ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

RTKnet: Legislation

Learn more about new and proposed legislation impacting your right to know and take action to hold government accountable.

Senate Passes Bill to Improve Pipeline Safety and Increase Public Access to Information (OMB Watch)

On Oct. 17, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill to strengthen safety standards and increase public availability of inspection results and enforcement actions related to the nation’s 2.3 million miles of pipelines. The legislation was sparked by a series of deadly explosions in 2010 and 2011 that drew scrutiny to the safety of gas and oil pipelines.

(16 Nov 2011)

Wyoming Approves Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules (The Associated Press)

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved a regulation requiring energy companies to reveal the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing. Energy companies were concerned that disclosing the chemicals in fracking fluid would hurt their competitiveness. However, Steven Jones of the Wyoming Outdoor Council affirmed, "It's going to be important for landowners and the public to get access to that information, to know what fluids they are using," particularly in the event of groundwater contamination.

(09 Jun 2010)

Louisiana Bill Seeks To Limit Citizen Suits (Mother Jones)

A new bill before the Louisiana Senate would bar university law clinics from filing suits against government agencies, suits seeking monetary damages, or suits that raise state constitutional challenges. A key target of the bill is the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic (TELC), which has litigated dozens of suits against industrial polluters and other environmental offenders on behalf of Louisiana citizens.

(10 May 2010)

Take Action on Toxic Substances Control Act Reform (Earthjustice)

On April 15, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) introduced the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010. The bill would reform the current Toxic Substances Control Act, which is plagued by flaws and loopholes. The Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 would make several crucial improvements related to our environmental right-to-know, including requiring chemical companies to develop and make publicly available basic health and safety information for all chemicals and expediting safety determinations on several notorious chemicals, such as formaldehyde, vinyl chloride, and flame retardants. Please join our colleagues at Earthjustice and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families in support of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010!

(16 Apr 2010)

New Bill to Study Risks of Nanotechnology (Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR))

Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced the Nanotechnology Safety Act of 2010, which would establish a program within the FDA to assess the health and safety implications of nanotechnology in everyday products and develop best practices for companies who employ nanotechnology.

(28 Jan 2010)

25 Years After Bhopal, Senator Seeks Stronger Chemical Rules (Sen. Frank Lautenberg)

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) marked the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal gas leak disaster by calling for stronger security measures at chemical plants across the country. Lautenberg is currently working on a bill to ensure strong protections are in place to secure chemical facilities and to prevent chemical disasters or attacks within the United States.

(03 Dec 2009)

House Passes Chemical Security Bill (OMB Watch)

The U.S. House approved legislation that seeks to greatly reduce the risks of terrorist attacks on chemical plants and water treatment facilities. The bill includes greater worker participation and the authority for states to implement stronger security standards, but lacks accountability measures.

(12 Nov 2009)

Bill Requires Listing of All Ingredients in Household Products (Minnesota Public Radio)

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) introduced a bill (S. 1697) that would require household cleaning product labels to list all ingredients. "Moms and dads have a right to know whether harmful chemicals are present in their kitchen cupboards," said Franken. A similar bill is in the House.

(24 Sep 2009)

TAKE ACTION – Tell Congress to Force Disclosure of Toxic Drilling Chemicals

Tell your members of Congress that you want disclosure of chemicals threatening drinking water.

(05 Aug 2009)

Bill Requires Labeling of Ingredients in Household Products (Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY))

Hazardous chemicals in household products are not required to be listed on the label. This bill would change that.

(08 Jul 2009)